What to Look for in a Senior Living Marketing Agency


Chris Young

What to Look for in a Senior Living Marketing Agency

The senior living market is poised to explode over the coming years as aging Baby Boomers begin to require long-term care in comfortable living accommodations. The question for most senior living centers is how to attract new residents as well as their families who are often decision-makers in this process.

Finding the right marketing agency partner for your senior living center is a critical piece of this puzzle. The right senior living marketing agency should have extensive experience working in the sector and should also have a firm grasp of the latest tendencies in marketing. The process of finding the right agency can be challenging, however, the right agency can be worth its weight in gold by attracting an endless stream of new residents. 

Advantages of Senior Living Marketing Agencies

There are several advantages to hiring senior living marketing agencies, but it can all be summed up in one word–expertise.

Unique Understanding of the Senior Living Industry

Agencies specializing in marketing for senior living possess an intricate comprehension of the distinctive needs and choices of the elderly and their relatives. Their extensive familiarity with the senior living industry, encompassing recent developments and optimal strategies, enables them to craft and execute marketing strategies that are both impactful and precisely focused. Senior living is unique given the multiplicity of decision-makers; the prospective resident is only one of the key decision-makers and the immediate family almost always represents a secondary cohort. Marketing efforts must not only be focused on the senior but also on the family who will help them make the decision. This requires a special understanding of each individual’s values and paint points, as well as how your center can communicate effectively in those areas. 

Expertise in Content Creation & Storytelling

Content creation such as articles, videos, graphics, and most importantly, stories, is a key part of marketing senior living centers. Senior living marketing agencies have the added benefit of knowing the media and messaging that most resonate with residents and their families. The right marketing agency won’t just have expertise in senior living, but creating the content and messaging for senior living. Decisions regarding options for senior living are often laden with emotions, necessitating a personal touch in communication from providers. Agencies specializing in marketing for senior living excel in crafting engaging stories and engaging visuals which assist providers in developing narratives that appeal deeply to prospective residents and their families.

Data-Driven Decisions

No part of marketing should ever exist in a vacuum and almost all decisions should be made with the backbone of data. Marketing agencies employ data analytics to monitor their campaign performance, pinpointing successful strategies and areas needing enhancement. By improving customer segmentation and conducting competitor analysis, these agencies can meaningfully “move the needle” with analytics insights. These iterative analyses enable agencies to continuously refine their campaigns, ensuring optimal effectiveness and maximizing return on investment over time.

Multi-Channel Expertise

Targeting prospective residents on a single channel is almost never sufficient to drive conversions. A multi-channel marketing approach may include paid advertisements, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and more. At Be More Digital we can bring all of these to bear for your senior living center and even offer our own proprietary products with household remarketing which have produced incredible results. Household remarketing leverages traditional mail media and has the advantage of getting a physical piece of your center into their hands. This can also be coupled with digital retargeting efforts to enhance the effectiveness of your brand and make it easier to recall when families are making living arrangements. 

Signs You May Benefit from Hiring a Senior Living Marketing Agency

There are a few tell-tale signs that your senior living center could benefit from partnering with a senior living marketing agency. 

Residency Is Declining

Since 2020, many senior living centers have seen a decline in residency. If this is the case with your center, Partnering with a marketing agency can be immensely beneficial to reverse the declining trend of residency. Agencies possess the expertise and insight to detect any obstacles in your marketing initiatives and develop a strategy that effectively connects with your intended audience. These insights and strategies can then be effectively implemented to help reverse the trend of declining residency.

Your Marketing Team Is Overwhelmed

Marketing teams are also frequently overwhelmed by the demands of marketing and, consequently, begin to triage marketing efforts. Marketing is a bit like a symphony orchestra and all parts of the marketing plan must be executed to ensure maximum effectiveness. When one part is left out or foregone for a “more important” part of marketing, the net effect of all efforts suffers. The right marketing agency can come alongside current teams to help amplify the great work they’re already doing and can help pick up the slack where some efforts have fallen by the wayside. 

Your Current Efforts Are Losing Effectiveness

Marketing is anything but a static exercise. Effective techniques are always changing as new media become available and new software allows for greater visibility and better data. As a result, some efforts that used to work may begin to lose steam and begin to lose effectiveness. The right marketing agency can help you understand what isn’t working and offer new solutions that can revive a campaign’s efforts.

Industry Trends Are Advancing Beyond Your Capabilities

Industry trends in both marketing and senior living are changing at a breakneck pace. In many cases expecting internal marketing teams to stay abreast of these changes in addition to all their other responsibilities just isn’t feasible. However, marketing agencies that specialize in senior living are responsible for understanding these changes and helping senior living centers adapt to these changes. The right senior living marketing agency can act as a shortcut to bypass all of the research and get straight to leveraging trends in a way that actually works.

You’re Expanding New Communities

While some senior living centers may be struggling, others are growing quickly and are acquiring several new centers per year. Partnering with a marketing agency has three distinct advantages in this instance:

  1. Continuity
  2. Expertise in your company 
  3. Zero functional lead time

Growing senior living centers that create long-term partnerships with marketing agencies can begin marketing efforts (in theory) the same day that acquisition paperwork is signed. The agency will already have brand guidelines, messaging requirements, and they already know what works. Given the long-term nature of the partnership, the agency can begin working immediately which eliminates the need to hire an internal team which will need training and 6 - 12 months of trials. The savings in this area can amount to millions of dollars on an annual basis.

You Need a Stronger Online Presence

One of the main challenges that senior living facilities are facing is distancing themselves from the “retirement home” image that still haunts much of the industry. Part of this is improving your online presence and making your “digital facility” as beautiful as your physical facility. Marketing agencies are experts at driving these changes and can help bring senior living facilities into the 2020s as quickly as possible so that their digital excellence reflects and amplifies their physical excellence.

What to Look For In Senior Living Marketing Agency Candidates

Finding the right senior living marketing agency candidates can be a long process and doing your due diligence is necessary for finding the right partner on the first go. In fact, even agencies that produce excellent results may not have the industry experience to be able to replicate those results in the senior living industry.

Product-Solution Match

The first thing that senior living centers should look for is a match between the problem and the solution. While this sounds simple, finding out what exactly the problem is can be daunting and frequently the only indicator of a problem is declining residency. The right marketing agency will be able to conduct an audit to help give you this information so that you’re at least aware of what the problem is. Beyond this, the marketing solutions offered by the marketing agency should fit together like a puzzle with the given problems your center is facing. A hammer cannot twist a screw and a one-trick pony marketing agency will likely be unable to help move the needle in any meaningful way. Look for a marketing agency that can provide clarity on the problems you’re experiencing and speak to how their products will solve those problems.

Prior Experience

Because senior living is such a unique market, prior experience with senior living companies is an absolute must. Prior experience will demonstrate that the marketing agency understands the senior living industry and has the expertise necessary to execute an impactful marketing campaign. Whenever you’re interviewing a candidate, be sure to ask about prior experience and request senior living case studies. Additionally, ask for references that can independently confirm the agency’s ability to perform.

Market Understanding

The right marketing agency must possess a broad understanding of the senior living industry which is unique from all other industries. Senior living exists at the intersection of healthcare, real estate, and quality of life and there are several different highly-invested stakeholders in the decision of where exactly a loved one will live. As such, senior living is a market that has aspects of other markets but is entirely unique in its implications, messaging, and sales propositions. These characteristics often appear most noticeably in the emotions surrounding senior living care which require honor, respect, and reassurance. The right marketing agency will understand these nuances as well as how to communicate with residents and their families in an effective manner. 

Deliverables and Timelines

Projected Deliverables and timelines are excellent things to discuss “on the first date.” While the exact details are likely to shift as new information and data become available, the right marketing agency should be able to provide an idea of what they will deliver and when. Be on the lookout for marketing agencies with opaque terms of service and agencies that want to hide data and performance metrics. The right agency will be eager to share their performance with you. A great indicator of this is a mention of weekly or monthly reporting check-ins. 

Expected Results

Finally, the right marketing agency should be able to communicate what sorts of results you can expect based on your budget, priorities, and goals. Like the deliverables and timelines, these may increase or decrease based on new data and information. However, during the interview process, the right agency should be able to tell you what you can expect as well as why. Understanding benchmarking as well as a justification for the agency’s projected results can help you determine if the agency can really meet your needs or not.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a senior living marketing agency transcends a mere business choice; it can shape the future of your brand. A harmonious alignment of your business objectives with the agency's expertise, coupled with market experience and performance, lays the foundation for a fruitful collaboration. It's important to recognize that even high-quality agencies might not align perfectly with your specific needs, and that's perfectly acceptable. Discovering the right agency is as critical as effective execution, but it also goes beyond that.

If you're exploring various senior living marketing agencies for your facility, Be More Digital is eager to discuss your requirements. Our team, with decades of experience in areas like PPC, SEO, email marketing, video production, and more, is ready to elevate your marketing strategies. Contact Be More Digital today for a comprehensive evaluation and proposal, or explore our array of case studies to see some of our success stories. Our dedicated customer experience team is on standby, ready to address any questions you might have.

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We understand that every business is different and may need a combination of solutions or only a small subset of solutions. Get in touch with our team today to see how Be More Can help you reach your goals.

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